This month, we're exploring recipes that use quince fruit. Although it resembles a cross between a pear and an apple, it is rarely eaten raw and requires a little more preparation. Our recipe for Quince Jelly is a good introduction to the fruit, it's relatively easy and the result is a really unique and floral jelly. Quince jelly pairs very well with cheese and would also make a great substitute for cranberry jelly at Thanksgiving!
For the recipe:
- 1.5 kg quince
- 1.5 kg water
- 700 grams sugar
- 1 small lemon
- 1 star anise
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Remove the fuzz from the quince with the help of a towel. Wash, de-stem and cut the quince into 4 segments each, without removing the core and seeds.
Place them in a pot with the water and bring to a simmer for 45 minutes.
Collect the juice by pouring through a strainer and pressing lightly on the fruit. Keep the fruit pulp and make a compote by putting it through a vegetable mill and adding vanilla or honey if you need a little sweetness.
Strain the collected juice a second time through a cheesecloth to remove any pulp, this will make the finished jelly clear.
The collected juices should amount to at least 1000 grams. Add the sugar, lemon, star anise and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a boil.
Skim any foam that collects on top (this also helps with having a clear jelly in the end).
After about 10 minutes of cooking, check the consistency by pouring a small amount of jam on a cold plate and seeing if it sets. You can also check the set with a spoon, seeing if the liquid dripping at the bottom starts to set up. Quince fruit is full of pectin so it should set up pretty quickly.
Fill your jars, add caps and flip them over to seal.